Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tough Decisions

We've spent a couple of days now in Portland looking at houses and driving around looking at property on which to build. We're having a hard time deciding what we should do. We found a couple of once-grand houses that now need work, but they seem priced too high considering the work they need. We struggle with valuing them correctly. We're not so good at accurately guessing the cost of those repairs and I have a hard time being realistic about the work necessary because I'm so good at imagining them all fixed up and beautiful again.

We're also struggling with the trade-offs of living in town versus living in the forest areas that surround Portland. In the forest, we'll get a bigger lot loaded with trees, but it doesn't come cheap. And we'll always need to drive where we want to go. For a while now, we've been imagining a life where we can get down to one car and take advantage of Portland's legendary public transportation; that won't happen if we buy one of the out-of-town lots. It is unfortunate we have so many competing and incompatible desires.

Tomorrow we're going off with the realtor again to revisit about four houses from Tuesday. One of them, the fixer on Multnomah, is somewhat in the lead of the houses we visited yesterday. But we've been told there was an offer yesterday. We're debating whether we just move on and let the buyers negotiate uncontested, but we're also wondering if it would be worth at least writing up the offer with the dollar amount we're willing to pay. How do we know if it's more or less than the current offer; the only way to find out is to write the offer. Perhaps Multnomah will go pending tomorrow and then that decision will be taken out of our hands. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

It is possible we won't be making any offers on this trip, as I'm not really enthused about any of the current choices, except, of course, Rupert. And, about Rupert, there's still no definitive word. We are keeping the communication open with the sellers, but there has been no forward progress. We are no longer in contract and if they were to get a higher acceptable offer they would be free to accept it. Likewise, we are free to make offers on other properties. We continue to watch and see what happens. Perhaps it will eventually go into foreclosure, then maybe we'd have another shot at it.

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